Arsenal handed fitness boost over quintet but key man still out for a month

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Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has confirmed that both Jack Wilshere and Tomas Rosicky have returned to full training after long injury lay-offs.

Wilshere has yet to feature for the Gunners this season after fracturing his ankle in pre-season, and provided that he can stay fit and avoid injuries, he will be a big boost for both club and country in the coming months.

Meanwhile, Rosicky’s experience will be useful in the closing stages of the campaign, and the Czech star will be desperate to contribute with his contract expiring in the summer.

Although Wenger was pleased to see the pair return to training, he was keen to stress that no decision had been taken on when they would feature for either the Under-21s or the senior side as they continue to work towards full fitness.

“Not yet, no, we have not decided that yet,” Wenger told the club’s official website. “It is his first week back in full training and we’ll see how he responds to that, but the first signs are quite good. We’ll assess our options next week.”

Wenger went on to reveal that Petr Cech, Aaron Ramsey and Mathieu Flamini could all return next weekend, thus giving him a timely boost as Arsenal continue to fight to keep their Premier League title hopes alive.

However, perhaps the most important injury update came regarding Santi Cazorla, who has been out with a knee injury since November. His injury was a particularly damaging blow, having played a pivotal role in the club’s success in a deeper-lying midfield position.

Wenger confirmed that the Spaniard was running again, but that it would take “three or four weeks more training” before he is back in contention.

Arsenal trail league leaders Leicester City by 11 points with eight games remaining, and although they won’t have given up hope just yet, they will be desperate for their returning stars to make the difference in order to keep them on track and to help apply pressure on Claudio Ranieri’s side.

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